The week of the year when the world celebrates Valentine’s Day of love, ironical it may sound, but do you know that February 9 to 15 is also celebrated as International Heart Failure Awareness week? You must not let the chest pain pass as the signs of singledom this Valentine. Recognized globally, Heart failure awareness week aims to spread knowledge about how serious matters of the heart are.
In recognition, the heart failure society of America runs the Do Your Part, Know Your Heart campaign, encouraging people to take an active role in maintaining their heart health. What exactly is heart failure? In simple terms heart, failure is defined when the heart fails to pump blood to our body extremities. Medically it is a condition when narrowed arteries or high blood pressure make the heart stiff to pump blood causing extreme discomfort and acute chest pains.
Heart Failure awareness this Valentines
The heart is an important organ and your body is dependent on its pumping action to deliver oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the body for its normal functioning. With heart failure, a weak heart cannot supply enough blood to your cells which results in the shortness of breath and fatigue leading to coughing in some people.
Chronic Heart Failure in extreme cases has dangerous repercussions leading to high mortality and affecting daily work schedules like an individual’s ability to exercise, walking, and even performing a basic activity like climbing stairs.
The Heart Failure Impact
According to Health Reports chronic heart failure affects over 5.7 million patients over the age of 20 in the United States, an epidemic growing with over 870,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
Do you know about half of the people who develop heart failure die within 5 years of a diagnosis?
Heart ailments in addition to affecting the regular pumping of blood to the body extremities also affect the quality of sleep. Heart conditions cause disordered breathing patterns, a worrying phenomenon experienced in 50% of patients pointing to a poor prognosis.
If you have a sleep disorder ignore no further, don’t pass it as a regular phenomenon as it may point out to sleep apnoea, a serious mechanical obstruction distinguished with an absence of ventilatory effort. In extreme cases, sleep-disordered breathing may cause heart failure, so if you pass matters of the heart as stress or irregular sleeping pattern, you are doing dangerous harm to your heart.
Risk Factors of the Heart
Heart failure does not come alone, it brings a host of ailments as listed below-
- Heart attack
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Chest pain
- Sleep apnoea
- High Blood Pressure
- Smoking tobacco
- Lack of appetite and nausea
- Difficulty concentrating or decreased alertness
Diagnosing Heart Failure
To diagnose heart failure, a medical practitioner will carefully assess individual medical history, review the symptoms and conduct a few medical tests. Besides, the doctor will also check for the presence of risk factors which can increase the severity of the heart ailment like coronary artery disease, diabetes or high blood pressure.
A stethoscope is an effective medium that helps the specialist to listen for through the lungs for signs of congestion. The stethoscope also picks up abnormal heart sounds which may point to early signs of heart failure.
In the case of heart failure, you should not let pass the minor health symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment are very important even for minute chest pain. Cardiologists recommend an echocardiogram for an accurate diagnosis of the heart pain. Other tests and diagnosis include-
- Blood tests- Your medical specialist may take a blood sample to diagnose diseases which can affect the heart. For accurate analysis, Medical specialists check for a chemical called N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) if they are not certain post the diagnostic tests.
- Chest X-rays- X-ray images help medical practitioners to check the condition of the heart and the lungs. Even for minor chest pains, your doctor can perform an X-ray to diagnose conditions to ascertain any serious signs and symptoms of a developing acute medical condition.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)- ECG aids cardiologists to detect heart rhythm problems and damage to the heart. What is an ECG? It is a test which records the electrical activity of the heart through electrodes attached to the skin.
- Echocardiogram- An echocardiogram test can help doctors analyse the shape and size of your heart to detect any abnormalities. An echocardiogram measures the ejection fraction, an important parameter to check how well your heart is pumping, to classify heart failure and prescribe preventive treatment.
- Stress Test- Stress tests analyse the stress of your heart when it is exposed to an exertion. In a stress test, you may be asked to walk on a treadmill which is attached to an ECG machine or may receive a drug intravenously which stimulates an environment similar to an exercise regime.
- Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan-A CT scan collects the image of your heart and chest when you lie on a table inside the CT scan machine.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)- What happens in an MRI? In an MRI scan, you lie on a table inside a long tube-like machine which creates a magnetic field, aligning atomic particles in some of the cells. These radio waves broadcast toward these aligned particles, creating signals which lead to images of the heart.
- Myocardial Biopsy- In a myocardial biopsy test, your cardiologist will insert a small flexible biopsy cord into a vein of your neck or the groin, taking out small pieces of the heart muscle. Myocardial Biopsy test is performed to diagnose specific heart muscle diseases that may lead to heart failure.
Treating Heart Failure
For people with a weak heart and chest pains worry not. The first step to healthy living is the prevention and prescription mechanism. An appointment with a specialist should not be ignored. How do you book an appointment with the best cardiologist around you? Gigadocs app helps you to book a Cardiologist, General Physician and Heart failure specialist on the click of a button.
With the Gigadocs app, you can-
- Track your vitals and share them live with your doctor, in case of any emergencies.
- Book a specialist appointment based on your choice according to your location preference, specialty, service or area preference on a single click.
- Store and manage your medical records in a safe electronic format.
To Download the Gigadocs App-
For more details mail us at email@example.com
There are a few measures which you should incorporate in your daily schedule to healthy well-being-
- Manage your weight, BMI, and Body Fat percentage
- Ensure you get enough physical activity either outdoors like walking cycling or indoors like Yoga or hitting the Gym.
In a crux, several medications work in tandem to improve even the minor chest pain symptoms keeping your heart safe from getting worse. Don’t ignore the minor symptoms, consult the best medical specialists on the Gigadocs app today.